This winter has been strange so far, and has caused a lot of business closings and delays. Does your office have a bad weather plan in the event of inclement weather? Do you even need one? If you work from home, you do need to be able to handle vendor or customer issues, day care/child care issues, and anything else that involves you, your family, or your small business.
- Form a plan. According to a survey of small business owners by Travelers Insurance, nearly 44 percent of all U.S. small businesses do not have a written business continuity plan, or any other type of document, that explains what will happen to the business in the event of serious weather emergencies. Just because you are a small business or solo entrepreneur does not mean you don’t need this type of policy. When bad weather strikes, so many other things can and do go wrong, that it’s a safe bet you will need to implement some sort of delay or preparation for power failures, etc.
- Plan your out-of-office communication. If you do have to close down for any reason, you want a way to be able to communicate with your clients and customers. Do you have emergency phone numbers, social media contacts, and email addresses up-to-date? Make sure your plan includes updating your website so customers can find out that way in case they are not able to reach you or you them. If you end up working remotely, from home, do you have all the login information you need ahead of time? Are your work documents where you can access them from anywhere at any time, such as in the cloud?
- Check your business liability and homeowner’s policy. If 20-inches of snow falls and you get hurt shoveling your sidewalks, is your business liability up-to-date to cover your injury in case you are unable to work for a few days?
If you work for someone else, make sure you know the bad weather or inclement weather policy before you need it. You don’t want to get a call that you are fired for not showing up to work because you thought the roads were bad, but your employer and everyone else showed up to the office.
A little time spent planning ahead will save you from having to “figure it out as you go.”
Stay safe out there!
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